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Palestine categorically rejects Israel's ‘settlement project’ as colonization attempt

Israeli security forces stand by as an excavator demolishes a Palestinian house in the occupied West Bank, on March 8, 2021. (Photo by AFP)

Palestine has strongly rejected and boycotted Israel’s so-called settlement project in the occupied al-Quds as a colonization attempt, warning that the scheme is aimed at annexing the Arab part of the holy city to the occupying regime.

In a statement on Sunday, the Palestinian Authority (PA), led by President Mahmoud Abbas, unanimously decided to scrap and prohibit the “Israeli political settlement project” in the occupied al-Quds, Palestine’s official Wafa news agency reported.

It stressed that the so-called scheme constituted a dangerous part of the regime’s colonization project aimed at ultimately annexing the Arab part of al-Quds to what Tel Aviv calls “the unified capital of Israel.”

The East al-Quds, “with its sanctities and heritage, is the eternal capital of the State of Palestine in accordance with the resolutions of international legitimacy and international law,” the statement by the office of Abbas stressed.

It added that a higher committee would be launched to follow up on this critical issue in a bid to preserve the unified Palestinian position, and in order to eliminate the risks caused by its implementation.

The statement further warned that the dangerous project would allow Israeli authorities to finally seize Palestinian properties in al-Quds under the so-called “Absentee Property Law”, which would change the city's legal character and lead to its “Judaization.”

Palestinians want the occupied West Bank as part of a future independent Palestinian state with East al-Quds as its capital.

Israel levels Palestinian cemetery in al-Quds to build park

Separately on Sunday, Israeli authorities razed parts of the al-Yusufiya Cemetery in the old city of occupied al-Quds to pave the way for building a biblical national park on the site of the graveyard, Wafa reported.

According to the report, the leveling works occurred after an Israeli court approved an order by the Israeli municipality of al-Quds to resume the flattening of the cemetery, which had been suspended for some time.

The court order, according to Palestinian lawyer Hamza Quttena, will bar Palestinian Muslims from digging new graves in the cemetery, a move which is part of the overall “Judaization” of al-Quds by the Israeli regime.

Palestinian, Jordanian, and Iraqi people martyred by Israeli militias during the 1967 war in Palestine were buried in the al-Yusufiya Cemetery, which is one of the most prominent Islamic landmarks in al-Quds.

More than 600,000 Israelis live in over 230 settlements built since the 1967 Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories of the West Bank and East al-Quds.

All Israeli settlements are illegal under international law as they are built on occupied land. The UN Security Council has condemned Israel’s settlement activities in the occupied territories in several resolutions.

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